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Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

VCU Medical Center currently offers Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) as part of our Brain Stimulation Program. VNS is an FDA approved device used to treat chronic or recurrent depression when 4 or more adequate treatment trials have not worked. Similar to a pacemaker, VNS is a device that is surgically implanted under the chest wall, and the leads are run under the skin in the neck to connect to the left vagus nerve. VNS delivers mild, intermittently pulsed signals to the vagus nerve, which then activates upstream areas of the brain. It is thought stimulation of the vagus nerve induces widespread effects in regions of the brain implicated in depression, possibly modulating neural circuits and the effects of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine.

For more information about this procedure and the device used, please visit FDA’s website

For information about our other brain stimulation programs, please visit other pages on our site or call:
TMS Clinic: 804-628-1766
ECT Referrals: 804-828-4570 or 804-628-1410